On ice cream

Is there a more superfluous food than ice cream? Sugar, sugar, and more sugar, and nobody needs more sugar. Perhaps what is wrong with the consumer mentality is emblematic of what is wrong with eating ice cream. No doubt that ice cream is one of the funnest, most delightful on the face of the earth to eat, but nobody needs ice cream to survive. There is no essential nutrient or vitamin that is only contained in ice cream which means we eat ice cream, not to survive, but because we are slaves to our hedonistic natures, which are fulfilled by all the sugar and fat in ice cream. Let’s face it, there are fewer more tasty delights in this world than a banana split made with vanilla ice cream, chocolate, strawberry, and pineapple toppings, a nice, ripe banana, lots of whipped cream, and covered with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts–with a healthy dose of caramel drizzled over the whole thing. People pay good money for that sort of treat, but who needs that kind of sugar in their life. Ice cream is emblematic of societal excess. A society is too successful if they can dedicate resources, time, and energy into the production of food that serves no nutritional end. Sure, one might argue that this is just another dairy product and that people can benefit from the calcium, some trace minerals and vitamins, if they eat ice cream, but the benefits have to be minimal when one considers all of the sugar and cholesterol that they will also be consuming, so what is the benefit, then, of eating ice cream? Is it possible that there is more to life and nutrition and health than just eating broccoli? I mean, I like broccoli as much as the next guy, but can man live by broccoli alone? Certainly, I have picked an extreme case with broccoli (which I love to put into my salads, by the way), but nobody would classify broccoli as a “fun” food. Yet, is it necessary to have “fun” foods? Perhaps nutritionists have studied why we like to eat caramelized walnuts and whipped cream, quadruple mocha lattes with extra whipped cream and caramel, or bananas foster, but I’m also sure that there answers would always be rather unscientific and subjective because who can turn down any of those things? I suspect that mental well-being, bolstered by the ingestion of delightful food, might lead to a healthy, well-fed person if they don’t ingest so much as to become as big as the great outdoors. This is, however, the rub: we love to eat fun foods, but they essentially bad for us in large quantities, so the trick is to learn moderation–eat a little instead of a lot. Yet, I would also say that for human beings this is almost an insurmountable paradox. Gluttony did not make it onto the list of the seven deadly sins for nothing. Human beings are by their very nature incredibly gluttonous because long ago, when food was scarce, only the gluttonous survived to pass on their genetic material–the thin, moderate folks were eliminated long, long ago, which brings us back to ice cream, a super-food that can give you the energy you need to get up and get all those important chores done, such as surviving until the next day. If you survive until the next day, you may have offspring, carbon copies of yourself who will have the same gluttonous motivations that were underpinning your own success. Go ahead, enjoy with heightened delight and glee your next bowl of ice cream.